How Household Water Use Characteristics and Sense of Water Kiosk Ownership Influence Financial Sustainability of Community-Managed Borehole Water Kiosk Service in Kisumu County, Kenya
Keywords:Financial Sustainability, Seasonal Patterns, Sense of Ownership, User Households, Water Kiosk
Access to safe drinking water is a global challenge, with approximately one-quarter of the world's population lacking such access. Kenya, like many Sub-Saharan African countries, grapples with water insecurity, leading to the establishment of water kiosks as a solution. However, these kiosks often face financial sustainability challenges. This study examined the influence of user household characteristics, technical designs, and governance factors on the financial sustainability of community-managed borehole water kiosk services in Kisumu County, Kenya. The specific objectives were twofold. The first objective was to analyse the influence of water kiosk household characteristics. The second objective was to assess the influence of user households’ sense of ownership on the financial sustainability of community-managed water kiosk services. A mixed-methods research design was employed, combining qualitative data from three focus group discussions with 31 water kiosk operators and quantitative data from questionnaires administered to 460 user households. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were used to analyse quantitative data, while thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. In the first objective, the study findings revealed that user satisfaction had a statistically significant influence on the financial sustainability (odds ratio = 3.36; p =.01) of community-managed borehole water kiosk services. Other statistical significance was revealed for time taken to fetch water (odds ratio = 3.52; p =.001) and household seasonal use of the water from the water kiosks (odds ratio = 11.20; p =.001). For the second objective, study findings revealed that payment for membership to the borehole water kiosk (odds ratio = 3.64; p =.001) and users’ perception of ownership of the water kiosk for the people living within the village (odds ratio = 0.41; p =.001) were revealed to be statistically significant in influencing the financial sustainability of community-managed borehole water kiosk services. Results from qualitative analysis triangulated these findings from statistical analysis. For instance, during the focus group discussions, the kiosk operators were equally concerned about the seasonal patterns of fetching water from the borehole water kiosks. Therefore, efficient service delivery, water quality maintenance, and responsiveness to seasonal variations are essential for financial sustainability. Membership fees play a crucial role in financial support, while the complexity of ownership beliefs suggests the need for tailored engagement strategies. Finally, land tenure issues should be addressed to enhance kiosk sustainability. Policymakers and stakeholders should consider these findings to develop strategies that ensure reliable access to safe drinking water in Kenya and similar regions.
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